If you are asking yourself this question, chances are, you probably do. However, there are a lot of different aspects and do’s and don’ts when it comes to going to detox. So, first things first, the need for detox can largely depend on what it is you are detoxing from.
If you are trying to get sober from alcohol, and are considering medical detox, go now. There are only a few different drugs that can actually be life threatening to detox from, and alcohol is one of them. Especially if you have been drinking daily for an extended period of time, or doing heavy binge drinking very often.
The reason for this, is that alcohol has some serious effects on the body, if you were not already aware, and the withdrawal process can actually send people into cardiac arrest or seizures, not to mention the process of delirium tremens. If you have been heavily drinking for some time, the chances are likely that you are already pretty familiar with the detoxification process that comes with it. Many people who abuse alcohol severely usually start withdrawing within 8 hours. The most common withdrawal symptoms that usually occur within that time are:
- Severe Nausea and Vomiting
- Auditory, visual, or tactile hallucinations
When the process is left unattended within the first 48 hours, or without medical detox, these symptoms can go into overdrive. This is what often leads people into cardiac arrest, seizures, and even death. The best advice, for people looking to get sober from alcohol, is to go to detox.
As much as it might seem like you are going to die, heroin is one of the drugs to detox from that are not actually deadly. Granted, detox definitely makes the process a hell of a lot easier. For example, for anyone who is familiar with heroin withdrawal, they already know the symptoms, but for those who don’t, the most common are:
- Excessive sweating
- Abdominal Cramping
- Diarrhea or Constipation
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Sneezing, runny eyes
- Depression and Anxiety
- Loss of Appetite
Because of these symptoms, most people opt into detox to ease the symptoms associated with the withdrawal process. Not only that, but there are also medications that can be prescribed that help with the intense cravings, the severe anxiety, and the crippling depression.
So, long story short, if you are detoxing from heroin, you probably won’t die if you don’t go to detox, but you might have a better chance of staying clean from heroin if you are separated from it for a few days in detox.
Cocaine and Molly
Now for the powders. Primarily speaking, these fall along the same lines as heroin. While the withdrawal process is going to be pretty uncomfortable for the first few hours, physically, as long as you stay hydrated, chances are you will be alright.
However, the tricky thing about stimulants like these is the mental side effects that come with the withdrawal process. In other words, these drugs act in the brain to increase levels of dopamine. When used in excess and often, they can pretty much deplete the brain’s ability to create that chemical, leading to severe depression. Not only that, but some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Anxiety and Depression
- Chills and Tremors
- Dulled Senses and Slurred Speech
- Hallucinations and Paranoia
- Fatigue and Nightmares
- Intense Body Aches
So, similarly to heroin, detoxing from stimulants such as these may not often lead to death. However, there have been many reported cases of people who were attempting to detox from these drugs on their own, have become so depressed that it let them to suicide. For this reason, it is definitely advised that people looking to detox from stimulants such as cocaine and molly, seek medical detox that can help provide them with the proper medications to counteract the mental side effects.
Another deadly one, benzodiazepines can be extremely dangerous to detox from outside of a medical facility. In this class of drugs lives drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium, and are primarily used to treat anxiety, panic disorders, and seizures.
The primary reason these are so dangerous, is because they get built up in the brain, and when a person suddenly stops using them, it can send the brain and body into a state of shock, also known as a rebound effect. Since the drugs are primarily used to inhibit the fight or flight reflex in the brain (which helps people with seizures and anxiety) that rebound effect can send people into extreme states of panic, that can sometimes result in panic attacks, heart palpitations, hallucinations, fevers, and even seizures. Some of the most common side effects of a benzo withdrawal are:
- Short Term Memory Loss
- Muscle Pains
Benzodiazepine withdrawal is 100% recommended to occur in a medical detox facility. Not only can a person receive around the clock medical care, where trained staff can monitor vitals and act accordingly, but they can also receive medications that will alleviate the severe mental symptoms that have led many people to death.
What continues to become an ever increasing drug used in the U.S., especially due to its rapid availability and relatively low cost for buyers, meth has become a pretty common reason for many people to seek medical detoxification. One of the most dangerous aspects of using meth, is that it is most commonly home made by someone somewhere, so no one can be quite sure of what might be in it. Someone could be doing a batch for an extended period of time and have no idea what they are putting into their body.
This can make the withdrawal process dangerous and dicey. Not to mention, it especially becomes dangerous when a person is potentially coming off of other drugs. Similarly to other stimulants such as cocaine, the withdrawal effects are more or less psychological, rather than physical. The most common withdrawal side effects for meth within the first 24 hours to 1 week are:
- Depression and Anxiety
- Headaches and Dehydration
- Muscle pain, specifically in the jaw from clenching
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Dry mouth and Jitters
It is a much safer idea to detox from meth in a medical detox, due to the extreme mental psychotic symptoms that can occur. Most commonly, the paranoia, the hallucinations, and the delusions that come from a meth withdrawal send many people directly into a psych ward or to their unknowing death.
More often than not, the feelings of depression and anxiety can often lead to suicidal thoughts and ideations. Not to mention, the extreme cravings that follow an abrupt end to meth use. These cravings are most commonly what bring people back to using. Not to mention, there is also evidence that shows that people who used meth for extended periods of time experience severe mood swings and depressive as well as manic episodes for several months following the last use.
Long story short, and the same as with any of the other drugs, detoxing from meth is a much safer idea to do in a detox facility. Not only can the person receive around the clock care, but they also have access to medications that can alleviate those symptoms of paranoia, depression, and anxiety.
Adderall, Lean, Ketamine, and Inhalants
Obviously, all of these drugs are in very different classes, but they often seem to get overlooked. Any and all of these drugs ARE addictive, ARE dangerous, and can result in overdose and death.
That being so, the withdrawal side effects from all of them range similarly among the rest, including:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Diarrhea and Constipation
- Paranoia and Anxiety
- Decreased Appetite and malnourishment
- Migraines and Body Aches
And in severe cases:
- Seizures and heart failure
While none of these are deadly to detox from at home, they can create extreme complications for a person’s mental and physical health. Primarily, people who abuse these drugs experience more mental side effects than physical ones, especially including cravings.
These drugs fall right in line with all of the other ones, where a medical detoxification process can help to alleviate the symptoms, keep the person under medical care, and also allow a period of separation from the drug to hopefully promote long term recovery.
So, Do You Need Detox?
Whether it be booze, lean, adderall, xanax, or heroin, chances are, you probably need detox. Especially if you are a fan, as many people are, of mixing several substances together. This can be extremely dangerous and uncomfortable to detox from because there can be multiple different elements occuring at once.
For example, for someone who mixes alcohol with benzodiazepines, but also uses cocaine and molly, the long term psychiatric effects can be detrimental without medical attention. Not only can the body go into shock, but the hallucinations and malnourishment can quickly send a person onto the edge of death.